Project Canterbury


The Moral Groundwork of Clerical Training.

















Oxford | Cambridge



Job xxviii. 12.

"But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?"

THE idea of the Wisdom or Kochmah, as all careful readers of the Bible will be aware, fills a great place in the mind of the Old Testament. It is, indeed, the subject of a distinct literature, within the compass of the sacred Canon. In their different ways, the Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Job are devoted to treating of it. Wisdom is no mere synonym for useful or general information; still less does it stand for practical knowingness, far-sightedness, shrewdness in the affairs of life. It is much more akin to what the Greeks, or some of them, meant by philosophy, and yet it differs from philosophy in some important respects. Like the Greeks the Hebrews had an ardent longing to get to the bottom of things; but then the problems which exercised the Greek thinkers so largely, were settled, and settled on the highest authority, for the Hebrews. The revealed doctrine of a creation--that is to say, of a creation out of nothing--made a good half of early Greek speculation superfluous. The Hebrew moved about the world knowing how [3/4] it, and how he came to be; the Greek spent his life in feeling his way towards the truth which every Hebrew child had learnt in his infancy. But the Hebrew mind, satisfied as to the origin of things by the Revelation entrusted to the Patriarchs and the Great Lawgiver, turned its eye, with constant and earnest anxiety, in the direction of their final causes. A vivid and unquestioning faith in God's active Providence naturally gave this turn to Hebrew thought. God had made, God sustained all that was; but what was the purpose in detail of His creation? What was the intended relation of Israel to surrounding nations? What were the guiding principles and ends of all which in polities and society met the eye? what was the universal truth which might be traced beneath the varieties of the individual or the national? The answer to questions of this kind constituted the Wisdom or Kochmah; but then this answer was furnished, not by the enterprise and collision of human minds, but from above. Hebrew speculation, at least for some centuries, and in its highest and permanent forms, was itself inspired: and thus we are taught the general aspects of human life as exhibited in the Proverbs, or the nothingness of all earthly things, as in Ecclesiastes, or the mystical side and import of human love as in the Canticles, or some relations of suffering to demerit, as in the Book of Job. In a later age, at Alexandria, Wisdom and philosophy, the inspired and the [4/5] human, the assured and the tentative, meet within the precincts of a great school of intelligence and culture. In the Books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus we see Israel thinking of the same problems as in Job and Ecclesiastes, and the Proverbs, but with a great store of revealed truth to fall back upon, and under the eye of Greek Philosophy. How to acquire wisdom; how wisdom will be rewarded; how the history of Israel and Israel's saints and heroes, is a long illustration of the power of wisdom:--these are the topics of the book which bears the name. Wisdom becomes in its pages--as had been already hinted in the language of the Proverbs--less and less a quality, more and more a being clothed with the attributes of personality. And thus at last Wisdom is identified with its true Source, the Eternal and Personal Thought or Word of God; and we find ourselves in the prologue of St. John's Gospel, and face to face with the central Truth of Christianity.

Now, in one respect the Books of the Kochmah or Wisdom within the Hebrew Canon witness remarkably to the world-wide importance of their subject. Although generally of Israelitish origin, they are one and all remarkably free from the peculiarities and allusions which would connect them with the history, the worship, the home of Israel. Already they seem to belong less to Israel than to the whole human family. In the Book of Proverbs, which treats of the relations of human life [5/6] in its most universal aspects, the name of Israel, the covenant people, is not once mentioned. In Ecclesiastes, which exhibits the proved nothingness of all earthly things, Jehovah, the covenant-name of God, does not once occur. If the background of the Song of Solomon belongs to Israel, the subject is of universal interest, at least, in its import, and mystic reference; and the Book of Job, dealing with a fundamental question of human life and experience, places us altogether outside the history, and in the main outside the thought and associations of Israel. There are no allusions to the Law of Sinai, to the promises, to the history, to the worship of Israel, in the whole compass of the book. [Cf. Delitzsch, Das Buch Job, Einleitung, § 2. Der Chokma-character des Buches, p. 5, 6.] In this somewhat negative but very important manner, the writings of the Kochmah in the Old Testament are a direct anticipation of the Gospel. Jesus Christ our Lord, if we may dare so to speak, is peculiarly at home in them--not simply as One whom they prefigure, or to whom they lead on, but as their true complement and point of unity. They are universal and human in their range of interest; so is He. They grapple with the most fundamental aspects of life and destiny; He explains those aspects. They create immense moral wants, which He satisfies. They name and centre in a word to which He alone has done justice; it is His Name from Everlasting,--the Wisdom of the Father.


Where shall wisdom be found? Job asks this question in his last address to his friends. This address forms the transition from the complete entanglement of the thought produced by the three stages through which the discussion of the relations of suffering to demerit has successively passed to the solution, begun in Job's soliloquy, continued through the four speeches of Elihu, and completed by the voice of the Lord acknowledged in the conscience of His suffering servant. Job himself has been insisting, as his friends had insisted, upon the punishment which awaits the ungodly, almost, as it would seem at first sight, making an admission which is fatal to his own logical consistency. But then he maintains unflinchingly that he is not an evil-doer in the sense of his friends. He admits the truth of their pictures of the destiny of the wicked, but he will not incur the guilt of falsehood, by allowing himself to acquiesce in their verdict as to himself: And this leads him to appeal to and fall back upon the great gift of Wisdom, with which God had endowed certain of His servants, and which enabled those who possessed it to get far beyond the superficial idea that all the suffering around us is of a penal character. Suffering would be seen [7/8] sometimes to have another and a higher purpose in a true philosophy of the universe; and what this purpose was, was taught, as much else was taught, by the Wisdom or Kochmah. Where was this Wisdom to be found? This larger and comprehensive insight into the nature of things could not come to man, Job maintains, from without, in the way of ordinary practical experience. It was not, for instance, to be acquired by the workers in those ancient mines, of which the traces are probably to be found in the Bashan country. [Compare the interesting quotation from Wetzst in Delitzsch, das Buch Job, p. 328. Besides these mines in North Gilead, the poet of the Book of Job may have witnessed mining operations (1) in Nubia, for gold; (2) between Petra and Zoar, for copper; (3) in the Lebanon.]

"For there is a mine for the silver,
And a place for the gold which they refine.
Iron is taken from the dust,
And they pour out stone as copper.

They break away a shaft from him who remains above,
There, forgotten by every foot (that walks),
They hang far from men, and swing."

And thus, as he pursues, human enterprise, even in these distant days, could open

"The way that no bird of prey knoweth,
Whereat the eye of the hawk hath not gazed;
Which the proud beast of prey hath not trodden,
Over which the lion hath not passed."

[9] And in language so vivid that it might seem to anticipate the achievements of modern engineering, he tells how the miner

"Layeth his hand upon the pebbles,
And turneth up the mountains from the root;
He cutteth canals through the rocks,
And his eye seeth every precious thing.
That they may not leak, he dammeth up streams,
And that which is hidden he bringeth to light."

And then Job pauses. His friends might have supposed that all this enterprise, in which they probably had shared, and which corresponded in that early age to the very foremost achievements of thinkers and practical men in our own day, was the high-road to wisdom; or that, at any rate, Job has in reserve some crowning word of praise for that which has wrung from him such sympathy and admiration. But Job only asks--

"Where shall wisdom be found,
And where is the place of understanding?"

Job maintains that if man should search in every direction through the inhabited world; if he even could penetrate to the subterranean waters; if he could offer the things most precious in the judgment of that primitive age--the onyx and the sapphire, gold and glass, pearls, crystal, and corals, the "Ethiopian topaz," the pure fine gold--yet wisdom, the profoundest perception of the nature of things, would still be beyond his reach. [9/10] How, then, could it be attained? Job shall answer in words which we may not venture to condense:--

Wisdom is veiled from the eyes of all living,
And hidden from the fowls of the heaven:
Destruction and death say,--
With our ears we heard a report of it.
God understandeth the way to it,
And He,--He knoweth its place.
For He looketh to the ends of the earth,
And He seeth under the whole heaven;
When He appointed to the wind its weight,
And weighed the water according to measure;
When He appointed to the rain its law,
And a course to the lightning of the thunder;
Then saw He it and declared it,
Took it as a pattern, and tested it also;
And unto man He said, Behold!
The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding. [Ib. vs. 21-28]

Wisdom is here the Ideal according to which God created the world. The idea of natural law as an integral portion of creation, regulating the wind, regulating the distribution of water upon the surface of the globe, regulating the rainfall, regulating the course of the electric fluid, could not be more clearly expressed; but Job maintains that this creation of the world, thus marshalled under the reign of law, was, at least in a certain sense, the [10/11] unveiling of Wisdom. It was then that Wisdom--hidden eternally in God,--was "perceived;" it took substantial realization and development; it was searched out and tested; its demiurgic powers were set in motion that it might clothe itself in an outward and visible form. It is the same idea of Wisdom as that in the Book of Proverbs; [Prov. viii. 22-31. On the general relation of the Proverbs to the Book of Job, compare Delitzsch, Das B. Job, Einleitung, p. 17, sqq.] the complex unity of divine ideas,--in which all the departments of creation, all its laws and processes, are seen from Eternity by the Infinite Mind, not as already actual but in a mirror. Here it is plain that we axe not far from the full revelation of the Word or Logos: only the Logos is personal, while as yet the Wisdom of the Proverbs and of Job is probably an impersonal model of all creaturely existence. [Delitzsch, u.s. p. 341. Die Weisheit ist nicht geradezu eins mit dem Logos, aber der Logos ist der Demiurg, durch welehen Gott nach jenem innergöttlichen Urbilde die Welt ins Dasein gesetzt hat. Die Weisheit ist das unpevsonlichc Modell, der Logos der persönliche Work meister nach jenem Moduli.] When God thus gave outward form to Wisdom in creating the world, He also gave man the law by obeying which man corresponds to what he was meant to be in the archetypal world--and participates, after his measure, in wisdom. A comprehensive intellectual apprehension of the real nature of things is beyond man's mental grasp. What do we mean by matter, what by spirit, what by the universe, what by our own personal existence? The moment we [11/12] begin to define these things, We see how little we know after all; how absolute knowledge everywhere eludes us. But eternal moral truth is not beyond man's moral grasp; and it is even more truly part of the Kochmah, than is intellectual Truth. Fearing the Lord, and renouncing evil--this is man's largest share in Wisdom; this is the best approach that man can make to what we should nowadays call a philosophy of the Absolute. He cannot without a revelation really contemplate things as they are,--as they are seen by God: but he can correspond to the realities as God sees them by obedience to elementary moral truth--by fear of the perfect moral Being--by practical renunciation of evil. It is the very motto of the Hebrew doctrine of the Kochmah which we have in the text--this substitution of obedience for ambitious speculation. "Be not wise in thine own eyes," says Solomon, "fear the Lord and depart from evil." "By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil," he says elsewhere. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge," says Solomon, "of wisdom" says the Psalmist: "a good understanding have all they that do them after--the praise of it endureth for ever."

It is in accordance with this that when the Eternal Wisdom took human form, in Jesus of Nazareth, His teaching followed this order. It began with [12/13] moral and gradually ascended to intellectual or dogmatic truth. If we except our Lord's insistance upon the great dogma of the Divine Providence, the teaching of the sermon on the Mount is moral teaching: it is a sketch, negative and positive, of the New Life which would befit the subjects of the New Kingdom. In the parables we trace the two elements; the doctrinal more and more asserting itself, yet being constantly based upon the moral, until in the last Discourse, in the Supper-room, we meet our Lord as a teacher of Doctrines--doctrines about the Father, doctrines about Himself, doctrines about the Blessed Comforter,--accompanied by the significant intimation, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." That sentence leads us on through the Apostolic Epistles, to the Creeds, to the Councils of the undivided Church, to the whole fabric and material of Christian Theology. But the basis of this glorious edifice was moral. "Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And to this hour "the foundation of God standeth sure having this seal, "The Lord knoweth them that are His;" and "Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity."

Here we touch upon one of the most important principles which a man can grasp and lay to heart. The only safe basis in the human mind for [13/14] the highest truths of faith--for the truths which satisfy and sustain the life of religion in the soul--must be a moral basis. On this point the Bible is utterly at issue with a large school of modern thinkers. All that is wanted, say they, for Wisdom, in its religious as well as in any other sense, for theological as well as physical or historical Wisdom, is intellectual activity--intellectual enterprise--intellectual downrightness. Moral prepossessions, moral sentiments, moral enthusiasm can do no good. Nay! moral earnestness may, by creating disturbing prepossessions, do much harm. The same qualities that make a man a good student or teacher of physical science will make him a good student or teacher of theological science. If not--they ask triumphantly--why not? The answer is, that religious truth addresses itself, not merely or chiefly to intellect, but to the moral sense; and it is justified, by the children of wisdom, at the bar of the moral sense. To understand Glod's Revelation to any real purpose, we must begin by fearing Him, by taking heed to His law. In the order of our religious education, although not necessarily in the order of time, the Decalogue precedes the Creed. Doubtless an intellectual interest in religious truth is possible without a moral interest. Bad men, like Henry VIII., have been good theologians; journalists, notoriously hostile to revealed religion, take the keenest and most discriminating interest in religious questions of the day. Ignorance would be bliss compared with such knowledge as this: what can be more piteous than the clear, hard, accurate knowledge of a soul, which has cultivated its intelligence without any corresponding cultivation of its heart and conscience? The absence of this fear of the Lord, which is Wisdom in the leading Bible sense of the term, is fatal to any living appreciation, if not to any appreciation whatever, of the doctrines of Redemption and Grace. What is the good of them in the judgment of a soul which has never felt the sting of sin, or which has never realized its own utter impotence to return to God? When such a soul comes into contact with the creed of Christendom--when it finds itself face to face with the great truths of the Incarnation and the Passion of Christ, the Influence and Personality of the Holy Spirit, the sacramental channels of communication between God and our human life, the doctrine of the ever-blessed Trinity in which these several truths find their justification and their point of unity, it can only regard truths of this magnitude, truths which we know to be so unspeakably precious, as a hard block of dead dogma, weighing like an incubus upon all honest and earnest thought. It is conscious of no demand which they satisfy; it entertains no anticipations which they meet; it feels no deep-seated disease for which they provide the remedy. And therefore it is lashed into [15/16] indignation at the statement that these truths are seriously necessary to salvation, although it is willing to take a patronizing interest in them as monuments and landmarks of man's past intellectual history. The fact is, the soil in which such truths must strike root is a moral soil. It is only a sensitive and educated conscience that can recognize their urgency and value, and so sustain the intellect in dealing with the speculative difficulties which they present. Dogmatic wisdom has its root and beginning in the culture of those moral and spiritual sensibilities which Scripture calls the "fear of the Lord."


Now, it was in view of this great principle that Cuddesdon College was founded. There are, of course, other forms which such a foundation might have taken. It might have been simply what the designation, "a Theological College," strictly taken, would seem to imply. It might have been only an institution in which Theological Lectures have to be given, and theological examinations periodically held. Theology being regarded only as a department of knowledge, addressing itself as attractively as it could to the intellect; when theological students had attended a regular course of lectures and had been examined, the work of such an institution would have been complete. Teachers [16/17] of language, teachers of the natural sciences, teachers of history, teachers of pure mathematics, say what they have to say, ascertain whether what they have said is understood and remembered by their pupils; and then everything is over. Why should it not be so, in an Institution for teaching Theology? The answer--let me repeat it--is because it is impossible in the case of theology to ignore morals, conduct, life, without the gravest risk. That risk may have to be run, to a very great extent at least, in the case of a secularized University; because a University, to be true to its idea, must deal with all departments of knowledge, as knowledge, and therefore with theology, whether above or among the rest. But in the case of an institution designed to teach theology to the future religious teachers of the people, with all that solemnity and urgency which should immediately precede a man's receiving the public Commission of Christ; to incur any such risk would be wholly indefensible. If a man would teach the power of religious truth, he must personally have felt the need of it. And this need can only be felt in the secret depths of the moral being, when conscience has been aroused to a sensitiveness which is often and most wholesomely not less than agony; when the strength of habit, old and bad, and the weakness of resolution, good and recent, has been fully appreciated; when men have recognized the simple justice of that solemn sentence of Scripture that [17/18] the heart--that is the centre-point of moral activity in man--is, when man is left to himself, "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." [Jer. xvii. 9.] Until language such as this is real to a man, expressing not merely what he takes it for granted is conventionally correct but what he knows and sees to be experimentally true, the Atoning work and eternal Person of Christ our Lord, and all the varied and blessed consequences of these facts in the Church and in the Soul, must belong to the region of phrase and shadow. These truths become real to men when the need of them is felt. Their reality is felt increasingly, as the moral life of the soul becomes more sensitive and strong. At last the passion for goodness and loyalty to the Faith may blend into a whole which absorbs and governs the whole inward being; each pulsation of moral enthusiasm throwing the soul upon revealed doctrine, each perception of dogmatic truth increasing the volume of the soul's moral force. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." [Gal. ii. 20.] What better motto--to describe at any rate the ideal of its corporate life--could a Theological College desire?

Now if a Theological College is to recognize this principle, that spiritual and theological wisdom [18/19] must have a basis in conduct, in life, in conscience, it will be necessary for such an institution to develope, at least two things;--first, a system; secondly, a spirit or atmosphere.

It must first of all develope a system. Of course a system of instruction and study will be taken for granted; no one would endeavour to master less serious subjects than theology, by a few efforts at random. But what we require here, and chiefly, is a system of devotion, discipline, conduct, life. Not merely study, but prayer, meditation, if need be, confession, exercise, sleep, recreation, should, as far as possible, be ordered by rule. Men should learn to run, not as uncertainly, to fight their spiritual foes, not as one that beateth the air. [1 Cor. ix. 26.] For the Christian life, however imperfectly and poorly, is yet in all who try to live it at all, a matter of rule; of rule which is the willing expression of love; of rule which, instead of confiscating, guarantees the blessed liberty with which Christ has made us free; of rule which reflects in the human soul something of that Eternal Order which is the law of the Divine Mind and Life. And therefore a House which has a religious purpose, should be a House of rule; it should be governed by system. Afterwards and elsewhere, the exacting demands of public work may make very little of the kind possible. Happy they who make the most of such a blessing while they may!

[20] What will system do? It will do this: it will, for the first time in the lives of most men who encounter it, set before them this great truth;--that life is given us to be disposed of and laid out from first to last under the eye of Christ our Lord. It will furnish them with an ideal of such an arrangement of life, together with opportunities of attempting to realize that ideal. A man cannot throw himself sincerely into a devotional system without being thereby braced and elevated; without feeling the power and beauty of moral law traversing and taking possession of all the wildernesses in his spiritual nature; without coming face to face with Him, Whose Presence and Will is everywhere implied in the rules which should govern Christian lives; with Him to Whom all leads upwards, from Whom all radiates.

Not that system alone will suffice. System, pure and simple, has no living power; it is only a shell which some living thing must have inhabited to give it existence, or which must have been made in artificial imitation of a natural growth. System, it has been truly said, if nothing more than system, is a "workhouse, whence escape is always welcome; wherein obedience and compliance are almost always forced and hypocritical." Besides system, then, a Theological College must develope a spirit--a moral and religious atmosphere--which will justify and interpret its system to those who live in it. Now it is much less easy [20/21] to develope a traditional temper of thought and feeling in an institution than to lay down rules for its management; but in the case of a Theological College, the spirit is more necessary than are the rules. A spirit which is earnest and practical tends insensibly to clothe itself with system; if earnest spirit without system involves aimlessness and waste of spiritual material, system without spirit is as dead as a soulless corpse. But who is to create the spirit? Certainly, non cuivis contigit. Certainly the difficulty of breathing into and sustaining in the members of any institution, the rare temper, the lofty enthusiasms which in deed become them, is the most rare and precious of the gifts of government; it belongs to what we term, in ordinary human language, moral genius. It is far too delicate and ethereal a power to submit to analysis, or to be bound down by conditions of time and place: it does not depend on formal relations, or emphatic occasions, or official understandings, for the secret of its empire; it makes the most of the by-play of incidental circumstance; it deals with life on its tender and unguarded side, in its moments of relaxation, at its intervals of despondency or frankness. It pours itself around others, when and how they know not; it saturates them; it impregnates them with its own fervour and impetuosity; it insensibly furnishes them with new points of view, new moods of feeling, new estimates of life; they learn, like the converted [21/22] Franks, to adore what they had burned, and to burn what they had adored, before they know it.

Need I say, brethren, that such a gift is not really of human origin? Men may be its channels and administrators: it may attach to this man and not to that, to this character rather than to that; but He only Who governs and sanctifies the Church, the Divine and Eternal Spirit, is its real author. He seems to invest all Christ's greatest servants with the halo of some such power: St. John and St. Paul were each the centre-points of an atmosphere, strongly marked by their separate individualities, within which many souls grew and were sanctified. So in later ages was it with St. Basil and St. Chrysostom, and in an eminent sense with the great- Augustine: these men were centres of moral and spiritual light and force, which constantly escaped from them, even without their meaning it, and which made companionship with them, of itself, a discipline. In a college such as this, as you know from its history during the last ten years, all depends, humanly speaking, on the presence of such a gift as this in its chief officer. It is this which explains the indescribable attraction and power of the place,--it is this which irradiates all else; which redeems everything here from the suspicion of triviality or wearisomeness; which gilds all the habits, all the associations, all the localities--the very roads, and hedges, and trees around, I had almost said--with a spiritual [22/23] and moral beauty, at least in the eyes of those who amid these scenes have first learnt what life, and work, and death, really mean.

It is said, I know, that personal influences of this kind, in a Theological College, tend to foster cliquism among the clergy. This is so far true, that nothing binds men together so closely as the felt power of a common enthusiasm. They who, sitting or kneeling side by side, have felt the illuminating, enkindling force of the same truths, dimly discerned, it may be, before, but thenceforth seen to be the very life of the soul, and, indeed, the one thing worth living for, feel towards each other as apostles must have felt, each of whom, in the upper chamber, saw the tongues of fire visibly resting on the head of every brother around him. There is no friendship so sincere, no bond of brotherhood so pure, so intense, I will add, so legitimate, as that which is rooted in consciously common convictions,--convictions traceable to a common origin. Such friendship may be termed cliquism; but the name is only deserved, if the objects of those to whom it is applied are selfish and narrow, or if their bearing towards others is exclusive or conceited. Surely what we want of all things in the Church of England is greater harmony among the clergy; more of that very sense of brotherhood which such a college as this conspicuously encourages; a more practical appreciation, to use the Psalmist's words, of the joy [23/24] and goodness of dwelling together in spiritual unity.

Then there is that other criticism, that a Theological College of this kind is really a hothouse. A hothouse, it is conceded, may do good work in the winter; but it is artificial work, at best. The plants which it rears will not stand the winds and frosts of the open air; they need a kindly soil and a high temperature. If a plant can be made to grow out of doors and alone, it had better do so; to shut it up is to weaken it; it is to give it a forced vitality at the risk of its future hardihood and vigour.

It is an old remark, my brethren, that if you wish to beg the question in an argument, your best way of doing so is to employ a metaphor. Under the cover and patronage of a metaphor, the logical fallacy glides past unnoticed, and too often takes its place unchallenged upon the throne of the reason. I deny that a college of this description occupies any such position in the moral and spiritual sphere as to make the metaphor of a hothouse tolerably accurate. For what does such a metaphor assume? It assumes that human life as a whole--so sternly and inexorably condemned by our Lord and Saviour under the designation of "the world,"--interposes no dark shadows, presents no grave obstacles, offers no strong resistance to the highest development of the spiritual life; it assumes that the life of the world is the chosen [24/25] home and natural mother of the Evangelical graces. Such an assumption needs only to be stated. To refute it, with the text of the Gospels in our hands, would be a waste of time. No doubt there are souls, at once pure, sincere, and hardy, which, without preparatory discipline, so far as we know, of any kind, do sometimes pass unscathed through temptations which are the ruin of multitudes; souls which draw only strength and resolution from the ungenial atmosphere and active hostilities amid which they spend their day of life. But such souls are the exception; they are not the rule. The rule is, that all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--whatever else may be said of it--is not of the Father, and does not help us to draw closer to Him. The rule is that to live in the world without being of it, still more to influence and improve it, you must have retired from it awhile, as did St. Paul into Arabia, and in a Higher Presence have taken both the measure of its strength and the measure of its weakness. This is the moral object at which a Theological College should especially aim. It is not a monastery, because in a monastery men are bound by obligations which last for a lifetime, and which differ altogether from the restraints involved in spiritual preparation for clerical work in the world. It is not, on the other hand, merely a literary society of men of blameless and retiring habits. It is emphatically a home [25/26] of discipline and training for the most difficult work that a human being can undertake--that of teaching and feeding the souls of others. The world no more affords us such a home than do the wilds of Dartmoor yield us full opportunities for becoming botanists or geologists: Dartmoor yields many illustrations of these sciences, but to appreciate them, to arrange them in the mental museum which we are gradually forming, we must most assuredly have placed ourselves under instruction, and have studied elsewhere. We cannot wisely attempt to begin ab ovo, and reject all the treasures accumulated by earlier observers and workers; we cannot ignore wisely either the ripe wisdom of science, or the ripe wisdom of our elders in the Church, because we may hope one day to add a little something from our own hardly-won observation and experience.

A hothouse indeed! In such a sense as--allowing of course for the immeasurable interval--in such a sense, I say, as our Lord's Companionship with His first disciples, deserves the metaphor, but in no other sense, does it apply to institutions such as this we are considering; where the object is--to rest religious faith and life, not upon a forced and unreal, but upon the deepest and most solid basis--the plain and steady recognition of moral truth. We might, indeed, here appeal to experience. Is it not the case that the students who have left Cuddesdon, at least during the last ten years, have given proof of a knowledge of the [26/27] world and of the hearts of men, at least as discriminating and true as that of others who have trusted to their own efforts or to the lecture-rooms of the University? Or rather, is not this statement felt by all who are acquainted with the subject to be very greatly below the real truth; and must we not dismiss, on the strength of such experience, an eminently foolish and misleading metaphor, which no one who had adequate ideas of the work in hand would have thought of employing?

To-day is an anniversary, in some respects, of more than ordinary interest. It is a day of many congratulations--natural and legitimate. Never before the present year has this College, in the person of any of its working officers, received such emphatic recognition from high quarters of the services which it has been permitted to render to the Church. [The allusion is to the appointment of the Rev. B. King, Principal of Cuddesdon College, to the Chair of Pastoral Theology at Oxford. The Bishop of Blomfontein had left Cuddesdon College some time before his elevation.] That recognition, many of you will feel, however grateful in itself, is purchased at a very heavy cost; and therefore to-day is a day, perhaps, of some great regrets and even of some inevitable misgivings. Brethren, at all such turning-points of life, whether public or private, it is well to reflect that if men pass; principles, truths, means of grace, remain. Above all, He remains, Who is the author and the [27/28] end of these things; Who putteth down one and setteth up another; Who, as being Infinite in His resources, is not dependent upon this or that agent for the doing of His predestined work; Who disappoints alike, in His consummate Wisdom, our eager hopes and our feverish anxieties. The one thing to be really anxious about just now, is that the principle upon which this College was originally founded, by the piety and genius of your Lordship's predecessor, should be permanently and heartily recognized within its walls; that its religious philosophy should be moral before it dares to be speculative,--its students men who know something of their own hearts ere they preach to others.

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